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Full text of "Virus (1988)(Firebird)"

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by David Braben HJt 

© David Braben 1987, 1988 

Published worldwide by Telecomsoft 

First Floor, 74 New Oxford Street 

London WC1A1PS 

Telecomsoft is a registered trademark of 
British Telecommunications pic 



Loading instructions 
Atari ST 

Insert the VIRUS disk in drive A and switch on the computer. 

The game will load automatically. 


Users of Amigas with Kickstart on disk should firstly boot 

Kickstart version 1.2 or later. 

At the Workbench prompt, insert the VIRUS disk. The game 

will load automatically. 

Please note that the presence of any RAM expansion or 

non-standard hardware may inhibit the correct operation 

of the game. 

Software Guarantee 
If this program is faulty, or fails to load, please return the 
disk without the packaging to: 

Software Returns Department 


First Floor 

74 New Oxford Street 


Software Returnst>epartment 

Rainbird Software USA 

PO. Box 2227 

Menlo Park 

California 94026 

Please include a brief note explaining the problem, and 

describing your computer system. 


A free catalogue of all felecomsoft products is available 

from the above address, on request. 


Game controls 

The Hoverplane can be directly controlled via the mouse 

or the keyboard. 

Using the Mouse 

The movement ot the mouse controls the orientation of the 

Hoverplane, subject to its inertia (that is - the Hoverplane 

will attempt to follow the mouse, but the Hoverplane may 

lag behind if the mouse is moved quickly). 

Each mission commences with the mouse in the central 

position, and it is the position of the mouse relative to this 

central position that determines the orientation of the 


The distance of the mouse from the central position 

determines the declination (or angle of dip) of the 

hoverplane. Thus, if you move the mouse a long way from 

the central position, the hoverplane will turn upside-down. 

The angle of the position of the mouse away from the 

central position determines the "compass direction" the 

Hoverplane will face, in the same way as it appears on the 


Mouse Controls 

Left button Thrust control 

Right button Fire laser cannon 

Using the keyboard 

As an alternative to using the mouse, the Hoverplane can 

also be controlled via the keyboard. Start the game by 

pressing the space bar. lb change to mouse control, simply 

press the thrust button on the mouse. The keys are as follows: 






Raise nose 

Rotate left 

Rotate right 

Fire laser cannon 

Thrust control 
Additional Key Controls 

These keys are operative when using either the mouse or 
the keyboard to control the Hoverplane. 
M Fire homing missile 

S Sound on 

O. Sound off 

P Pause on 

O Pause off 

ESC Restartthegame/exitfrom 

demo mode 
Redefining the Keyboard 

All the game control keys are redefinable - to change the 
keys, press the R key whilst the Hoverplane is rotating on the 
title page. 

Playing Instructions 

You are the pilot of the latest generation of Hoverplane - 
your orders are to defend the country against waves of 
attacking alien spaceships. The alien race are intent on 
polluting the landscape by spraying it with a debilitating 
red virus. 

Your Hoverplane is equipped with a long-range scanner, a 
laser cannon and a limited supply of intelligent homing 



Control Console 

Looking across the top of the game screen at your control 
console, the following information is displayed:- 

Current Score 

Quantity of spare Hoverplanes 

Quantity of homing missiles carried 

Current Attack Wave 

Best player score achieved so far 

Below this, you will see two bar readings. The orange bar 
shows the amount of remaining fuel you have. The green 
bar indicates the altitude above sea level. 
Long-Range Scanner 

The scanner display shows a map of the land areas (in 
green) and sea (in blue). As the virus infects the landscape, 
the green areas of the scanner will become a 
reddish brown in colour. The Hoverplane is depicted by a 
white dot. Your home base is shown as a small grey square 
in the middle of the scanner, and the alien spaceships are 
represented by various coloured and flashing dots. 

Further Information 

After locating an alien spaceship on the scanner, fly 
towards it and decide whether to destroy it by shooting it 
with your laser cannon, or unleashing one of your homing 
missiles. There is a penalty score of - 1 point incurred each 
time you fire your laser cannon. 
Ascore of 40 points is awarded for shooting a mutated tree. 


Homing Missiles 

When a homing missile is launched itwill head towards the 
nearest alien spaceship. The missiles are short-burn, how- 
ever, and they may lose their target. 
An extra homing missile is awarOed every 5000 points. 
Shield and Fuel Usage 

A hit by an enemy bullet is repulsed by your Hoverplane's 
shields, but the extra shield energy required means that 
some of your fuel will be used. If you fly at too high an 
a Ititude, your fuel supply will cut out until you drop down to 
a lower altitude again. Fuel can be replenished by 
landing at your home base. 

A collision between two spacecraft will destroy both 

An extra Hoverplane is awarded every 5000 points. 
Attack Waves 

At the end of each attack wave, you will be awarded a 
bonus according to the amount of the landscape which 
remains uninfected by the red virus. 
A totally new virus-free landscape is generated on 
levels 5 and 10, and the gravity is increased progressively 
on levels 3, 5 and 7. 



Guide to the Allen Spacecraft 

The seeder is a blue flying saucer whose function is to 
spread red virus across the landscape, causing wide- 
spread pollution and mutation of trees. It does this in four 

1. Fly ing, and spraying the virus when over land . 

2. Finding a suitable landing site, and then landing 
on the ground. 

3. Spraying the immediate vicinity with virus in order 
to create a higher density of mutant foliage. 

4. Re-launching to find a suitable new landing site 
When it is about to land, is landed, or is taking off, a yellow 
undercarriage is clearly visible. 

Scoreforakill: 100(intheair) 

50 (when landed) 
Scannerblip: cyan 


A red and brown spaceship with a yellow underside, the 

drone flies in a similar manner to the Hoverplane but it has 

a weaker thrust capability. 

Its role is to shoot the landscape and your Hoverplane, and 

to attempt to mutate itself by selecting a suitable bush 

and shooting it whilst within its "spray zone". 

Scoreforakill: 300 

Scannerblip: Orange 

Mutant (Mutated Drone) 

The mutant is red and purple with a yellow underside. It flies 

in a similar way to the Hoverplane. It has a weaker thrust 

capability than the Hoverplane, but more powerful than a 


Its objective is to annoy and ultimately kill you. It has a 

much higher firing rate than a drone, and is also more 


Score for a kill: 500 

Scanner blip: Flashing orange/red 


Bombers are cyan and blue ships with a yellow underside. 

They fly straight and level at very high speed, dropping 

parachute bombs most of the time. They are detectable 

from a distance by the whooshing sound they emit as they 

fly along. 

The bomber's role is basically to spread virus, but it does so 

at a much higher rate than a seeder. 

The parachute bombs, which swing as they are dropped 

out of the bomber have two functions:- 

1. Proximity detonation on the Hoverplane . 

2. Explosion above the ground, spreading 
concentrated virus around the area of impact. 

Score for a kill: 800 

Scanner blip: Cyan/dark blue 


Pests are magenta and yellow octahedrons which always 

head towards your Hoverplane. Their task is simple: to 

destroy you at all costs. A pest is characterised by the 

distinctive twittering noises it produces and the smoke trail 

that is left behind in its wake. 

Score for a kill: 400 

Scanner blip: Magenta 





A fighter is a red, orange and yellow chevron-shaped craft 
which flies in a similar manner to a mutant, but has a higher 
rate-of-fire (the same as the Hoverplane). However, a fighter 
has to be hit twice with the laser cannon or once with a 
homing missile in order to destroy it. After it has been hit 
once, its rate-of-fire is halved, and itturns a greenish colour. 
Score fora kill: 200forthefirsthit 

700 for the kill 
Scanner blip: Flashing yellow/black 


The Attractor is one of the rarest and most dangerous of the 
alien spacecraft. It is distinguished by its square base and 
red and white markings, as well as the deadly lightning 
bolts that it shoots at the landscape below. However, the 
Attractor's most powerful attribute is its tractor beam which 
pulls the Hoverplane towards it and drains the 
Hoverplane's energy, lb destroy an Attractor, you will have 
to hit it a number of times. 
Scoreforakill: 1000 

Scanner blip: Flashing red/black 

Mystery spacecraft 

A secret new alien spaceship is rumoured to have joined 
the invasion force, and may strike at any time. You will only 
recognise this craft because it does not fit the descriptions 
of any of the known aliens. Beware, as it may have a 
lethal new weapons system fitted. 
Scoreforakill: ? 

Scanner blip: Unknown